Cross training is a fantastic way to improve your performance for your sport of choice. This is why triathlons have become a lot more popular with runners in the past few years. Runners swim to increase lung capacity and improve endurance. Swimmers run/cycle to build stronger legs for the water. Cyclists run/swim to keep training intensity high and break from their cycling routine. Same hold true for other sports. .
Image what you can do if you trained in a completely different sport and start using muscles you didn't know that you had! For instance, football players have been known to take ballet to improve their balance, coordination and even their mental focus on the field. Football players use the same muscles a ballerina uses when performing their sport. The execution is different and that is what helps increase your overall strength.
Another benefit to cross training is using muscles you may not know that you have because you are moving in the same direction when performing in your specified sport. If you are a runner or cyclist, you are always moving your legs and arms back and forth in the sagittal plane. But, if a runner starts to play tennis the body will be challenged in a new way. Now you are moving left, right and transversely.
Golfers get great cross training through Yoga. Yoga elongates the muscles, strengthens the back and core, as well as improve a golfer's swinging range. Yoga is a great way to keep the muscles loose and increase flexibility.
As a personal trainer, I highly recommend cross training to help improve performance, flexibility, mental focus and range of motion. Cross training will also break up the monotony of your daily workout and keep you motivated to be the best athlete you can be. Try something new and see how you will keep getting BETTER!